How do you serve something good and homemade instead of cold cereal? Try pancakes. You can serve pancakes on your busiest mornings. Here are three possibilities to consider:
1. Make your pancakes the night before and heat them in the microwave in the morning.
2. Mix your batter the night before and cook the pancakes in the morning.
3. Use a mix.
Making Pancakes the Night Before
Make your pancakes the night before. Store them in the refrigerator between sheets of waxed paper or in a pancake and tortilla keeper for up to five days.
Take out what you need and heat them in the microwave. Just don’t heat them too long or they will become rubbery.
Making Pancake Batter the Night Before
Some pancake batter can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator and some cannot. Here’s how to tell the difference:
Pancake and waffle batters made with baking powder can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Since the baking powder may lose some of its potency overnight, add 25% to 50% extra. If the first pancake doesn’t rise enough, sift a little more baking soda over the batter and gently stir it in.
Pancake and waffle batters leavened with baking soda cannot be stored. These leavenings go to work as soon as they are moistened and will lose their power overnight.
Some pancake and waffle recipes call for whipped egg whites to give them extra volume. If the recipe calls for baking powder and egg whites, you can mix the batter the night before but wait till morning to fold in the egg whites. The whipped egg will more than make up for any shortfall in leavening.
You can add whipped egg whites to many batters made from recipes or mixes but here is one that we have tested and like.
Extra Light and Fluffy Pancakes
- 1 cup sifted all purpose, pastry, or cake flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cups milk, more or less
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon sugar
1. Sift the dry ingredients together.
2. In another bowl, mix the yolks, most of the milk, and the melted butter together until smooth.
3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the mixed wet ingredients all at once. Stir until just combined. (Over-mixing will make for a tough pancake.)
4. Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy and soft peaks appear as for meringue. Add the sugar toward the end of the beating. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter with a spatula. Add milk as necessary to get the right consistency.
5. Cook as you would other pancakes.
Using a Pancake Mix
It only takes a few minutes to make pancake batter from a mix. You can make as much as you like and you can make fancy pancakes like Raspberry Sour Cream Pancakes and Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes from a mix.
Quick Variations to Your Pancakes
No matter how you make your pancakes, they don’t have to be plain. Just before cooking them, add fruit, nuts or flavor. Or top them with your favorite fresh fruit, drizzle a little syrup on them, and top them with a dollop of whipped cream.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Add chocolate chips and drizzle them with coconut cream syrup or heated marshmallow cream. Chocolate chips work best in pancakes if you use mini chocolate chips. If you use larger chips, use milk chocolate chips.
2. Add other baking chips. They work great too. We love cinnamon chip pancakes. Peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips work well. For the kids, add some rainbow chips.
3. You can buy raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry tidbits online to make terrific pancakes. Consider making them even more flavorful with a teaspoon of raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry flavor.
4. Make peanut butter and jam pancakes. Melt a half cup of peanut butter in the microwave and add that to your batter along with a half cup full of chopped peanuts. Serve with your favorite jam or jelly. If you want to get the kids excited, serve them with cherry bubblegum jelly available on the internet.
5. Any dry fruit and nut combination will work. One of our favorites is dry cranberries and walnut pieces. Add a couple teaspoons of maple or brown sugar flavoring.
6. Make apple and walnut pancakes. Grate a granny smith apple and add that to the batter. Rev up the flavor with a teaspoon of apple flavor available online.
7. Top your pancakes with a scoop of marshmallow cream. You can make a supply of marshmallow cream and store it in the refrigerator. We have recipes for chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and strawberry marshmallow cream on our web site.
Dennis Weaver is the founder and president of The Prepared Pantry–a seller of baking supplies and kitchen tools. He has written extensively about baking and cooking. “How to Bake,” a 250 page e-book, is available free online. He has worked professionally as a baker and has baked and cooked for over 30 years His favorite pancake mix is the Raspberry Sour Cream Pancake Mix available at The Prepared Pantry. http://www.preparedpantry.com
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